Watson Wins on Jeopardy; Humans Prepare for Robot War

WATSON.jpg
Now's Your Chance -- Kill It, Trebek!
Last night, a computer beat two Jeopardy champions at their own game. Watson, the computer, is an IBM project designed to understand the nuances of human language, from playful puns to double entendres. Here's some nuanced language for it to understand: We hope someone programs Watson to feel pain and then kicks it in its stupid robot crotch.

We're pro-human here at Runnin' Scared. Other media outlets (cough, PBS, cough) would like to see robots ruling the world. Not us. That's why a sickness swells up in our stomachs when we hear Watson receive all this adulation.

Jeopardy is a game of regurgitating information. Sure, the questions (or answers, because Jeopardy is sooooooo cute) are open-ended and layered in wordplay. Nonetheless, it's still all about having the info. In order to gather information on a subject, we -- like hundreds of millions of other Americans -- pop in the first disc of Microsoft Encarta and conduct a search. You don't hear us calling our Compaq Presario a breakthrough in linguistics.

Still, this Jeopardy victory is garnering Watson tons of positive press -- and that's not a good thing.

Every time Watson answered correctly (which was a lot, it racked up $35,734 over two days), the little orb projected on its screen glowed a little more smugly. It was notably silent when Alex Trebek asked the contestants about their lives, however. Brad Rutter recently moved to L.A. to pursue a career in television. Ken Jennings' wife had to take care of their children and never attended a taping during his record-breaking Jeopardy run.

What nice, human stories. Where are your kids, Watson?

What's that? Your loins are a pathetic salad of tangled wires and cold circuitry? You've never felt the warm touch of a loved one?

Good. Let's keep it that way.

It's scary enough to see a robot succeed on a game show. Soon, Watson's traitor human programmers (who were frequently shown clapping and smiling as the soulless demon they spawned pushed humanity toward total annihilation) plan to use the technology in hospitals to help doctors diagnose patients. We can see how that will transpire:

PATIENT: My throat's been a little scratchy lately. Do you think it could be strep?

WATSON: Your flesh and morality offend me! Die, human, die!

HUMAN DOCTOR: Well, it did win on Jeopardy. Die, human, die.

We've seen all the Terminator movies, as well as two Matrices; we know how this will end. If we don't put a stop to Watson, we will forever be enslaved by our silicon masters. Let's ensure that the Jeopardy success is the final victory.

We'll let you have this one, Watson. Congratulations. How did you celebrate? We're sure Ken Jennings went home and made love to his wife after the show. What did you do?

Watson Trounces, Then Trips on Jeopardy! [PC Mag]


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2 comments
gfrblxt
gfrblxt

You know, I was on Jeopardy long ago. I remember thinking that Alex was a robot. That perhaps under that game-show-host demeanor and his perfectly, PERFECTLY pressed suits, lurked a Replicant. And I remember thinking....how would I know? How would I tell?

While I'm thinking about it, it occurs to me that this outcome doesn't really matter - we've become slaves to our technology already, so it was only a matter of time before the technology itself started making better decisions than we do. I just hope the programmers put in something like Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics....

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